May 29, 2009

Your Turn: Latina Justice

To what extent is this headline a slam, picking up on the wing-nut meme that Sotomayor is a (reverse) racist?

One meaning of the headline speaks to identity and pride: that she’s a Latina and also a potential Justice. Another implication, however, is that Sotomayor — given the infamous quote and now the right-wing meme — will be dispensing “Latina justice.” Is it possible that even the use of the “Latina” label as a label, at this point, conjures the wanna-be controversy? And then, the subhead is interesting too. Obviously Sotomayor would change the court. So, what are they getting at here? (And is TIME, given the third article title, hinting the nomination itself is a “showdown over Affirmative Action?”)

And then, I’m interested in your take on the illustration, and the use of an illustration as opposed to a photograph. Is an illustration more stereotypical in some way? Is this one? Or is there nothing to it?

Although we’ve had plenty of opportunity here to explore subtle and not-so-subtle African-American media stereotypes in the political sphere (case in point), we’ve spent relatively little time looking at the framing of (male or female) Hispanics.

Perhaps this is the true significance of this nomination.

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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